NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont women's basketball team (18-13) will lace up its postseason dancing shoes for the first time since 2007 later this week after accepting an invitation to play in the 2013 Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI).
The Bruins were awarded the No. 8 seed and will travel to the top-seeded team in the East Region, Detroit (17-13) for a matchup on Thursday, March 21. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. CT. It will mark the first meeting between the programs.
The Titans, who participated in the 2012 WNIT, last made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1997. Detroit finished the 2012-13 regular season with a 17-13 record, marking its first back-to-back winning seasons since 2001 (17-12) and 2002 (16-14). The program was fourth in the Horizon League with a 9-7 mark.
"We are grateful to the WBI for this opportunity. We are thrilled to continue playing this season and count ourselves as fortunate to have the opportunity," said Head Coach Brittney Ezell.
"Our players are excited for the chance to compete and we are looking forward continuing to better our program in the postseason. It is the first post season bid for Belmont since 2007 and we are honored to represent Belmont University and the OVC in the Women's Basketball Invitational."
In just their first year as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, the Bruins tallied numerous program firsts, including recording 18 wins for the first time in the Ezell era, and earning a berth to the 2013 OVC Tournament, making Ezell just the second BU coach in program history to helm a team that made tournament appearance in its first season in a new conference. Individually, senior Jordan Coleman (Orlando, Fla.) shattered the OVC record for most Newcomer of the Week nods in a single season after picking up 10. She also became the first Bruin to earn postseason honors as a member of the league's 2013 All Newcomer Team.
The Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) provides a choice for postseason worthy Division I Women's teams who wish to continue their season but who did not qualify for the NCAA tournament. The 16 team, single elimination event will take place over two weeks with all games being played on campus sites.
Notable teams that have participated in the past have been Louisville, Memphis, Minnesota and Washington, and the past winners have been Appalachian State in 2010, UAB in 2011 and Minnesota one year ago.
If the Bruins advance past Detroit, they will take on the winner of the No. 4 Northern Kentucky (15-12) vs. No. 5 College of Charleston (15-15) in a contest on either Saturday or Sunday.
The eight first round games will begin on Wednesday, March 20 and Thursday, March 21. The event will finish with the Championship game March 30 or 31.
The complete 2013 WBI bracket can be found here.
More information about the 2013 WBI can be found by clicking here.